Catalogue of Catastrophe

The following entries record some of the more noteworthy troubled projects from around the world (read our FAQ for more information).

Jump to prior years 2015, 20142013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, Recent classicsHistorical classics,

For an analysis of the most common mistakes made in the projects listed below read the “Classic Mistakes” page.


Latest troubled project report

Organization : Department of Public Works and Government Services – Canada
Project : Payroll system
Outline : New payroll system incorrectly paying federal government workers
Date :  Jul 2016 Cost : $50M
… read more


Disasters 2016

  1. City of Montreal – Canada – $11M CAD
    … read more
  2. Aid Agencies – $360M USD
    … read more
  3. Department for International Development (DfID) – UK –  £285 million
    … read more
  4. City of Flint Michigan – USA – Unknown
    … read more


Disasters 2015

  1. Volkswagen – Germany – $18B
    … read more
  2. Transportation Security Administration – USA – $160M
    … read more
  3. Los Angeles Unified School District – USA – $1.3B
    … read more
  4. Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality – South Africa – $130M
    … read more
  5. Target Canada – $7B
    … read more
  6. Ontario Provincial Government – Canada
    … read more
  7. City of Edinburgh Council – UK – £1B
    … read more


Disasters 2014

  1. Christmas Blunderland – UK
    … read more
  2. SNCF / RFF – France – $68M
    … read more
  3. IBM – Worldwide
    …read more
  4. British Home Office – UK –  £224M
    … read more
  5. Berlin’s Brandenburg airport – Germany – 5B Euro
    …read more 
  6. State of Oregon – USA –  $254M
    … read more
  7. State of Minnesota – USA –  $150M estimated
    … read more


Disasters 2013

  1. Avon Products
    … read more
  2. Department of Health and Human Services – USA
    … read more
  3. British Broadcasting Corporation – £100M
    … read more
  4. J.C. Penny – USA – $1B
    … read more 
  5. New Zealand – Ministry of Education – $30M
    … read more
  6. State of California – $254M
    … read more
  7. Marin County – $33M
    … read more 
  8. Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes – up to $18B
    … read more

Disasters 2012

  1. Northern Rock Asset Management – $400M
    … read more
  2. U.S. Air Force – $1B
    … read more 
  3. Mitt Romney 2012 Presidential Campaign
    … read more
  4. Department of Transport – UK – £40M to £100M (estimated)
    … read more
  5. Knight Capital – $400M
  6. … read more
  7. Sanctuary of Mercy Church – Borja, Spain
    … read more 
  8. G4S Security – £60M
    … read more 
  9. Victoria Health Authority – $566M
    …read more
  10. US Army – $5B
    … read more
  11. British Home Office – UK – £105M
    … read more
  12. Dept. Homeland Security – USA – $45M
    … read more

Disasters 2011

  1. Victoria Police Department – Australia – $100M
    … read more
  2. J.P Morgan Chase – $6B
    … read more 
  3. Department of Defence – Australia – $40M
    … read more


Disasters 2010

  1. BSkyB/EDS – £200M GBP
    … read more
  2. City of New York – USA – $540M cost overrun
    … read more
  3. UK Fire Services – £650 GBP
    … read more
  4. Queensland Health – Australia – $64.5M
    … read more
  5. Dept. Homeland Security – USA – $1B
    … read more
  6. Microsoft – USA – Undisclosed
    … read more
  7. Department of Primary Industry – Australia – $2.25B AUD
    … read more
  8. National Health Service – UK – $24B
    … read more


Disasters 2009

  1. Sydney Water – Australia – $70 AUD
    … read more
  2. Canadian Payments Association – Canada – $300M
    … read more
  3. Westjet – Canada – Update from 2007 failure story
    …read more
  4. London Stock Exchange – UK – $68M
    … read more
  5. Veterans Affairs – USA – $41M
    …read more
  6. Foundation for student life – Norway – $14M + some very smelly students
    … read more
  7. US Navy – USA – $13B
    … read more
  8. National Offender Management Services – UK – $375M
    … read more
  9. MI5 – MI 6 – UK – Reported to be tens of millions of pounds
    … read more
  10. City of Vancouver – Canada – $250M cost overrun
    … read more
  11. Air Canada – Canada – $67M cost overrun
    … read more

Disasters 2008

  1. Department of Homeland Security – USA – $500M
    … read more
  2. Edinburgh Fringe Festival (World’s largest arts festival) – Scotland – Ticketing system
    … read more
  3. HM Revenue Collection – UK – Child tax credit systems – $5,600M
    … read more
  4. Rate Collection Agency – Northern Island – Local tax collection system
    … read more
  5. Ministry of Defense – UK – Helicopter upgrade – $1,000M
    … read more
  6. Justice Dept – Australia – Court proceedings management system – $54M
    … read more
  7. Transport Ticketing Authority – Australia – Smart card system – $350M
    … read more
  8. Department of Transport – UK – $160M
    …read more
  9. Census Bureau – USA – $3,000M
    …read more
  10. British Airways PLC – Move to T5 – $32M
    … read more
  11. Waste Management Inc – ERP System – $100M
    … read more
  12. Qantas – Australia – $40M
    … read more


Disasters 2007

  1. New South Wales Government – Australia – $370M
    …read more
  2. Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) – UK – $100M
    …read more
  3. Lhufthansa Systems – Germany
    …read more
  4. Social Insurance Agency – Japan
    …read more
  5. Junior Doctors Recruitment System – UK – $12M
    …read more
  6. American LaFrance – USA
    …read more
  7. General Register Office – UK – $12M
    …read more
  8. State of Wisconsin – USA – $23M
    … read more
  9. Centrica PLC (British Gas) – UK – $687M
    …read more
  10. Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – USA – $95M
    …read more
  11. West Jet – Canada – $34M
    …read more


Disasters 2006

  1. Department of Homeland Security – USA – $20M
    …read more
  2. Airbus A380 – $6.5B
    …read more 
  3. Justice Department – Canada – $1,000M
    … read more
  4. University of Wisconsin – $28M
    …read more
  5. Defense Department – Australia – Helicopter upgrade – $1,000M
    … read more
  6. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – UK – $610M
    …read more


Recent classics – Failed projects from the recent past

  1. FBI – Virtual Case File – USA – $170M
    …read more
  2. Denver Airport Baggage Handling System (2005 was the end of a very long story) – $560M
    … read the full case study
  3. British Columbia – Fast Ferry Fiasco – $460M
    …read more 
  4. The Millennium Experience and the Millennium Dome
    …read more 
  5. Fox-Meyer Drug
    …read more 
  6. London Stock Exchange – Taurus – Up to £475M
    …read more 


Historical failures – Cautionary stories from the past

  1. Advanced Passenger Train (APT) – UK – £150M (2012 adjusted cost)
    …read more 
  2. Sinclair Vehicles (C5) – UK – £30M (2012 adjusted cost)
    …read more 
  3. Bristol Aeroplane Company – UK – 1949 – £350M (2012 adjusted cost)
    …read more
  4. de Havilland Aircraft Company – UK – 1949 – Full cost unknown
    …read more 
  5. Tacoma Narrows – USA – 1940 – $105 (2012 adjusted cost)
    …read more 
  6. RMS Tayleur – UK – 1854 – Cost unknown
    …read more
  7. Swedish Navy – The Vasa – 1628 – Cost unknown
    …read more 

R. Goatham – Editor

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